Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market

You could always give the go-go bars a miss if the sight of trannies baring their man boobs offends you.

But one place not to be missed in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
I went there during the last day of my trip, which fell on a Saturday luckily. In most places that I’ve travelled to, the markets are always the best place to see a wide range of merchandise and score some great bargains. The only exception is Petaling Street in KL, which is a crap hole filled with scams and rude vendors trying to rip you off.

Chatuchak Market is one of those places that is so legendary, I’ve heard about it long before I visited Bangkok.
My friends often come back home from Thailand sporting some funny but stylish looking T-shirts. When I asked them where they got their T-shirts from, they said ‘Chatuchak’ and that’s how I knew such a wonderful place exists.

Chatuchak Market is HUMONGOUS. The market is pretty much only about the size of a single storey of Midvalley Megamall. But with 8000 stalls packed so densely together, there’s never a risk running out of things to explore.
The prices here aren’t always the cheapest. What I like about Chatuchak though is that the vendors are always nice enough quote a very low price to begin with. Since the prices were already so low, my bargaining skills were practically worthless. Even the “pretend to walk away” tactic doesn’t seem to work.
Another reason I like Chatuchak is because…

They have COCONUTS!

Heaps and HEAPS of COCONUTS!

Coconuts so cool, they can deshell the coconut with one scoop, and hand you a ball of meat with all the coconut juice inside still intact.

Mango sticky rice, a perennial dessert favourite at Thai restaurants worldwide.
I never used to like it because I thought they tasted pretty bland, but then that’s because I’ve been eating cheap imitations at Thai restaurants outside of Thailand.
The real thing is heavenly.

A drink menu in the market.
You don’t pay them in baht. You pay them in baths.
A Pepsi can costs 15 baths. You gotta shower 15 times to buy a Pepsi can.

Lethal weapons: knives, swords, clubs, brass knucks, throwing stars, BB guns. You name it, they’ve got it.
The vendor looks like someone who could ong-bak the living poop out of me.

If you’re an art lover, you’re in for a treat. The alleys of Chatuchak market are filled with paintings, statues and trinkets to brighten up your place. And they’re priced quite reasonably too.
There’s an art gallery inside the market showcasing some pretty cool contemporary abstract drawings. These ones go for around 3,000 bahts (RM300).

Buddha art.
Technically, it’s illegal to sell anything depicting the images of Buddha in Thailand. But no one cares about it anyway. Prostitution is illegal in Thailand but look at how far it went.

Hey, why the long face?

Now that’s a happy Buddha.
Contemporary zen or religious mockery? You decide.

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

Oh look! Naked tits!
Tee Hee!
Quick! Someone faster go post a comment condemning and force him to take down the photo! Otherwise the minds of many young children reading this will be corrupted, y’know?

There are a lot of things in here not usually found back home, like this “Blob Thing” shown in the video.

Street performers are everywhere in Chatuchak market.

This guy is a cross-dresser trying to raise funds for his surgery, I think.

School kids raising funds for their education by playing music.

Looks like they REALLY need it their education.

For me, the most fun I had was at the pets section of Chatuchak Market.
The pet section here is incomprehensibly large, selling everything from conventional domesticated pets like cats and dogs to the more exotic types, like giant turtles.

I’d love to have a giant turtle, but too bad my baggage might be overweight.
The variety of dogs here are incredible though.

This dog is tulan.
Do not disturb.

This is what happens when you crossbreed a dog and a sheep. You get a dog that looks like a sheep.
Instead of baa baa, it goes woof woof.

When the dogs here are not busy imitating sheeps, they sleep.

Bunnies. Hundreds upon hundreds of them!

Tulan bunny hates wearing dresses.

Sexy hot chicks for your viewing pleasure.

They even sell miniature hedgehogs here. These ones go for 500 bahts (RM50).

Roborovski hamsters. They have literally thousands of them crawling around and they go for only 100 baht (RM10) each.
Not knowing I could actually get Roborovski hamsters in Kuching, I eventually ended up purchasing a pair of them.

The trouble was bringing these creatures from Bangkok back to Kuching.
I was actually stopped by airport security at the Bangkok International Airport when they found out I was carrying hamsters on my hand carry luggage. They wanted to confiscate my hamsters, but obviously I was not ready to let them go. So I lied to them and tell them that I’ll pass the hamsters over to “my friend waiting outside the airport”.

But of course, I didn’t know anyone in Bangkok. In reality, I snooped off to the nearest toilet and did the stupidest thing I could ever do for a pair of hamsters.
I stuffed them inside my pockets.
Yes, I thought about stuffing them inside my underpants initially, but I was afraid they might bite my testicles thinking that it’s food. So anyway, I stuff them inside my pockets of my shorts but those two buggers kept crawling out.

That didn’t work, so I thought to myself “bugger it” and stuff them inside my backpack. I figured if they confiscate it, then well, bad luck. At least I tried.
Lucky I didn’t put the hamsters in my pockets because when I went through airport security the second time, they actually patted me down and emptied my pockets.
My hamsters, on the other hand, went through the X-ray machine together with my laptop.
I wonder if they saw two tiny little hamster skeletons on their screen, because they let me through successfully.

And so, the two little hamsters went home with me back to Kuching (until one became Spiderham and jumped out the window from the second floor).
That concludes my short adventure in Bangkok. I also bought some gifts for friends, a new backpack and a few of those funny T-shirts that I always wanted.

150 baht

There was this one brilliant T-shirt that I really liked though, but I didn’t buy it ‘cos I was not sure what my mom would say if I actually wore it out.
Why, you ask?

Well, I think that’s self-explanatory.

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120 Replies to “Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market”

  1. oohhhhhhhh….shopping..i wana go there already..nice tees think the kids in thailand seriously need education..sigh!
    it seems that their rights for education has been violated because of corruption and chaos in their country.soooooooooooo sad…

  2. Kenny, the act of bring those hamsters into an airplane is EXTREMELY dangerous.
    I repeat again, it’s an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS act to do.
    If those hamster were to get lost inside the cabin and were to make their way through the aircraft’s avionic bay and bitting off wires, you are going to be putting hundred of people’s life in danger when the aircraft gets into trouble during future flights.
    I hope I’ve gotten this into you and never to fool around with aviation regulations.
    Have a nice day.

  3. i want one of those shirts,too!!
    n what WERE u thinking?? hamsters inside ur pockets!? they can still chew their way thru ur pockets to ur testicles if they’d wanted to, u know..

  4. Oh my gosh, you actually brought over the hamster from Thailand?!! Becareful, wait they fine you hor, for smuggling hamster. No joke,animals even as tiny as hamster should not be on flight. Hope the authority didnt read your blog…hehe

  5. Kenny,
    Ya better pray and hope that the authorities don’t find out bout this, even if your Hams dint get loose on the plane, they could still fine you or even put you in jail…
    Anyways…hope they’re lazy enough not to do so ^^

  6. can u guys just stfu and stop pretending that you know all about aviation regulations and doing all the knight-in-shining-armor routine.

  7. Omg the dogs are so cute!! not like pet stores in malaysia. u cant even touch the dogs becoz they are locked up in a…glass box. how pathetic. u make me wanna go there and buy a dog! =)

  8. when i was there i bought a shirt that said “Don’t laugh, this is your girlfriend’s shirt” .. lol .. i say PAWNED !

  9. Kenny, you really go and buy those hamster??? Yeah, went to chatuchak before, and they sell squirell last time, pretty cruel though, they tie a string on its feet to prevent them escaping >_

  10. Well, u r right about our Petaling Street. I was once scolded and shouted by a Bangladeshi selling fake Rolex, cos I was watching and refuse to bargain when they asked me how much I want at one of the stall. Bloody a gangster. Anyway, the Sunday Market really got everything in it. That’s why I make sure I always in Bkk on a Sunday. A visit to Bkk without going to the Sunday Market is uncomplete ! Do you know that alot of our Boutique clothing(for ladies ) and also Supermarket’s clothing comes from Sunday Market ? They only localise the Brand…

  11. OMG! The dogs are so cute! Super cute wei! How much are they roughly? Hrm I wonder if it’s possible to go to Bangkok and just buy a dog? AH OMG… I cannot stand this. Too much cuteness going on in your blog today.

  12. Love the coconuts, t-shirts and Buddha sculptures. However, just to inform everyone, please DO NOT buy dogs/puppies from places like Chatuchak or any roadside vendors. These dogs are from puppy mills. For more info, read up at
    The dogs there all live in horrible conditions, and they are kept only to breed as much as possible. If you want to get a dog, buy from a reputed pet shop or adopt one from SPCA.

  13. went there too! but argh!!! sadly i didnt get to c those adorable pups n stuff!! t-shirts there are really nice.. except those perverted kinds la.. disgusting. @.@
    clever u… hamsters made it all the way to KCH! hehe.. cool.

  14. Haha..I have those splat thingies! 😀 I have the egg,the tomato and the dick.And yeah,Chatuchak is the best!I frequent Thailand so often so I never fail to shop in Chatuchak.You must go MBK to try the food there.In the food court there’s this stall that sells like stewed pork.It’s one of the best in Thailand,the stall owner is some thai dude who can speak a variety of languages cos he’s had tonnes of customers from literally everywhere.And it’s easy finding the stall cos the dude will be the one speaking to you in mandarin,canton,or whatever when you pass by and it’s one of the most busiest stalls there. and you must go to Chinatown to try the glutinous balls filled with black sesame in ginger soup.Arrgh…telling you this makes me wanna go to Bangkok just for the food.haha..

  15. To “I am a chicken with no name”, just for your information, you happen to meet me who knows all about air legislation as it’s also my job to keep aircraft airworthy. Please respect the regulations otherwise u’ll put hundreds of people to unnecessary danger.
    Thanks for listening.

  16. wow.. hamsters there sure are cheap.. i jz came back from Bangkok last week.. most unfortunate that my holiday ended on a Friday.
    Oh well, at least it gvs me a reason to go back there!!.. i wanna play wif the poochies, try the manggo sticky rice and SHOP!!!

  17. i totally heart the scuplture, very subjective though, why don’t you buy one and put it at your place, i bet it will be an interesting piece that people will talk about if they go by your place.
    anyways, i saw you on mtv for the battle of the bands.

  18. Hahaha you take really beautiful pictures ! You should get your hamsters MyCards since their Malaysians now or immigration might deport them back to Thailand 🙂

  19. OMG. Tis place rocks…. I feel like going there now…Thanks kenny for posting about this.=D
    Anyway ul kill ur hamsters by keeping them in ur pocket. Trust me…Im a hamster fan…Until they all died killed by my sis.

  20. I really wonder how u managed to bring them through the Kuching airport? I dun think I can smuggle that insanely cute little hedgehog into Singapore though! Haha!

  21. Erm….The commenter’s do have a point in this post.
    Bringing in the hamsters without proper vetting :
    1) Might cause mayhem if they were to get loose in the cabin.
    2) Animals here might not carry the same kind of immunities as animals in Thailand and might be in danger of contracting them.
    3) This one is kinda stupid for a hamster but….It might not have a natural predator here and might populate exponentially like the toads in Australia.

  22. Agree with laby. Very happy cause so many cute pictures! ^__^ Omigosh the animals, the potato shirt, the blob, even the smiling Buddha statues are so cute!

  23. Kenny, u seems to enjoy yr Chatuchak Shopping. How many hours u spend there?
    I spent about 6 hours, which is not enough, but due to very hot weather, so i gave up. I’ve spent many many bahts there.. cos the thing compared are very very nice and cheap, the quality isn’t that bad as well. Of cos they aren’t branded thingy lar..
    Especially for ladies, clothes and bags and shoes are cheap!!!! If u plan to go KL for new year shopping, why not plan to go BKK for a cheaper and wider range? I’m planning but i’m quite bz lately.. Else i can form a shopping group!
    Oh ya,Kenny the “BlobThing” is now available in Msia too. I’ve bought 3 at BKK last visit, but when got home, found that it’s not as sticky as they demonstrate. End up its all bitten by my doggie. Gggg!!!!

  24. Whenever I head to Petaling St, I would b asked to take a look at items on sale. I would always refuse and told them that I didn’t want to be scolded if I didn’t buy eventually.. Then they said they won’t scold me and I get to browse the items n get away with not buying anything.. probably they scolded me behind my back but at least not in front of me 😛

  25. Haha but Chatuchak is kind of overcrowded. My mother and I went once and some pickpocket stole all her baht although her pouch was in front of her. :[

  26. Plz forward this msg to everyone, It’s bcoz got a ppl who get blood cancer & need B+ blood. Kindly contact Mdm. Soh – +60397418538. Thx 4 your help, It’s urgent so hope u all will send it as many as possible!!

  27. Wei Kenny… i saw you at suvarnabhum airport few weeks ago ! Didnt say hi to u afraid it could be someone else. Now i confirm that guy is you.

  28. my 2 sens …
    it’s so darn dangerous smuggling those hamsters back. they can get loose in the aircraft and start biting those cables etc or worse, they might also carry diseases and may get you or your family infected. i mean, screw it with the titties pics etc .. but if you truly care about your young readers, you should have thought better about posting your “smuggling” story. it’s not being smart or heroic having bypassed immigration or even to show how immigration officers are being careless … seriously i find it an extremely stupid thing to do.

  29. cool you had fun in bangkok, but i guess there’s a reason why they set up quarantine and screening rules for animals.. =)
    chatuchak is definitely the bomb!

  30. kenny nice travelling entry you got there. when are you gonna sponsor some loyal readers for an all expense paid trip so that we can join you along ? hehe joking lah, just update us of any upcoming trip lah, if the i have the time, i would love to go travelling to

  31. In Penang, that kinda hamsters are selling at only RM 6.00 nia… maybe in KL also about the same price but nevertheless, it was quite an experience for u to have smuggled them in this way..bravo!! Next time try goldfish. Can stuff them in yr drinking bottle eh??

  32. I think smuggling hamsters onto the plane is a SERIOUS INTERNATIONAL OFFENSE! Kenny, did you know that by smuggling the hamsters onto the plane, you put the whole planeload of people at risk! Imagine what could have happen if they have gotten loose on the plane and chew through some wires in the plane. What the heck were you thinking??? And how could you treat the hamsters in such cruel manner by stuffing them into your bag and subjecting them to dangerous exposures to the Xrays. Now that you’ve publicly admitted to these heinous acts, I hope the Authorities will do something about this. And to think that Guinness and NTV7 publicly advocate you to promote them. Outrageous!

  33. The staffs at the airport must be sleeping for not detecting hamsters in your bag.. I once accidentally brought a swiss army pen-knife in n waited at the lounge for a few minutes b4 they came running in to look for me 😛

  34. Kenny, those hamsters in your photo are Winter Whites not Roborvskis… the ones you brought back ARE roborvskis 😛

  35. Looking at the photo that you provide above, I am 80% sure that it’s a MAS plane that you are boarding based on the type of carpet, the legs of the chairs and the cover of the seat track. Kenny, I hope you would publicly promise us that you’ll not to do such act again, so others will not follow. Remember, you are dealing with other people’s live here. Please be considerate.

  36. I have always been a fan of yours but I think it is very wrong for you, as a famous blogger, to post an entry depicting the sale of animals in Chatuchak. You only raved about the experience of seeing these cute little animals. Everyone knows animals are sold there but not everyone knows about the living conditions of these animals. How about thinking about animal welfare issues next time?
    Also,smuggling in your hamsters that way is completely wrong. You risked their suffering of those animals.

  37. I frown upon the sale of animals in Chatuchak.
    The mothers must have been giving birth non-stop for such markets where the kids are being sold for mere pennies and destroyed once they are not sold and outgrow their cuteness.
    And for bringing in live animals by stuffing them in your pockets and backpack? I would’ve thought any real animal lover would not subject their pets to such torture.
    Please Kenny, you can do better than this.

  38. Even though most people are condemning you about bringing your hamsters back, I kinda admire your guts to smuggle them. =P
    I’d love to do that, but I guess Singapore authorities are way too strict. =(

  39. Dear pet lovers and animal activists who are disappointed in me purchasing the hamsters from Chatuchak Market,
    1. How am I supposed to know the hamsters I bought at Chatuchak Market are not treated decently?
    2. How do you know that the hamsters I bought from Chatuchak Market are not treated decently?
    3. I think for people to immediately assume that Thai pet vendors treat their pets inhumanely compared to the vendors from other countries smack full of racism. Just because these vendors are from less developed countries does not mean they do not practice humane methods of selling their pets.
    4. How do you know the pet vendors in your own country do not “destroy (the baby animals) once they are not sold and outgrew their cuteness”?
    5. I have been to pet shops in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and I can tell you honestly that there is no difference in the way the hamsters are being displayed at the shops in those countries and the hamsters on display at the shop I bought my hamsters from at Chatuchak Market. Come to think about it, the shop I bought the hamsters from treat their hamsters better because they have toys, waters and running wheels whereas the pet shops in Kuching and KL put their hamsters in a small box with none of those amenities.
    6. BUTCH, since when did NTV7 advocate me to promote them?
    7. I can admit that I am wrong in going against the law by smuggling the hamsters back to Kuching. I did not know I could not bring the hamsters on board because I knew people who have brought dogs and other pets on board before. But in between letting airport security destroy the hamsters, and me saving my hamsters from death by giving them a good home, I chose the latter. And I think I made the correct and a humane choice even if it meant them having to sit in a box in my backpack with food and water for three hours.
    8. Merry Christmas.

  40. And I reserve the right to remove all abusive anonymous comments.
    If you want to be abusive, at least do not be anonymous. It’s one or the other, not both. Else don’t even bother leaving a comment ‘cos I won’t even entertain it.

  41. Well said Kenny.. well said. U could be a good lawyer u know. 😉 the hamsters r having a time of their life with that girl of yours.. Even had ice-cream. lol. who knows what wud happen to them if they stay at Chatuchak Market. in a way, u did sort of ‘save’ them from such hectic places.

  42. Kenny, then again, how are you suppose to know that they’ll destroy the hamster?
    And again, you put the entire flight of so many people at risk, how does that sound more correct at “saving” a hamster’s life to you?
    Lastly, look at your readers, they are admiring you for smuggling the hamster and even say now they know a way how to smuggle animal.
    I’m here just to point out the severity of the act of smuggling those hamster onto an airplane.
    You might have learn your lesson, but the damage you’ve done to your reader’s mind, is still there.
    I’m just doing my part for the society.
    Hope you don’t get upset over my comment.

  43. eh.. why got a hamster.. u can find tat in kuching also ma.. should have got a hedgehog.. when u run out of toothpick, and juz pluck it off them.. haha…=X

  44. Even though its wrong to smuggle back hamsters that way, I wanna say BRAVO!!! and CONGRATS!!!! to you Kenny!!!!! Hamsters will surely love you now…Now if only I have the guts to do wat u did

  45. I think the airport security check is too laxed. At least they could have offered to ship the hamsters back to M’sia after a certain quarantine check. That would have certainly put the pet owners at ease.

  46. definitely looking forward to my BKK trip now. we’re hitting the full-moon party too. any ideas what that’s like? all ive heard from friends is that its a crazy night of partying.

  47. This blog is really interesting, Bangkok is a place which I always want to go for trip! I have book ticket in 06 but because of some reasons I’ve to let go the opportunity and wasted my ticket. I’ll definitely go to Bangkok one day. ^^

  48. u took those hamster through air port???? hahhahahhahhahahhaha man there goes thailand… as i should have know… i am driving with expired ID hahahahhahha .,….

  49. Hi, just wondering where should I stop by to get to Chatuchak? I will be going on Oct 15 ’09. Is it accesible via BTS?

  50. I cant agree more with you about Petaling Street in KL. Wheras the thai markets are full of polite smiling vendors. Petaling Street is full of uneducated savages rude and aggressive and ready to mock you and your family if you dont buy anything. Today after an Indian vendor had been exceptionally ride to me when i refused his quoted price a fight broke out when I bought the same item cheaper elsewhere. I grabbed the throat of his chinese boss who was barking exceptionally loudly at me asking for a fight, and shoved him away. Unsuprisingly the cowardly idiot backed away after that. A few other brit/aussie tourists told me “nice one” its about time the tourist fought back!
    On a serious note what a disgusting inhumane place petaling street market is. I will stick to thailand and bali, and morroco and Turkey from now on. The vendors there are charming and haggling is a friendly game and not a physical fight as in KL.

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